The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Women History month is Upon us; City College reflects on where our women have come from and where they are going
City College student and, president of City College’s Feminist, Emily howard. Sonora Rairdon| Staff Photographer| [email protected]

March is here, and so is Women’s History Month.

The celebration allows us to remember brave women who have taken great strides to stand up and change women’s rights. Although Women’s History Month has only been officially designated for 20 years now, there has been a long history of women who have faced adversity. Many feel there is still a long way to go to protect and advance women’s rights.

At City College, Women’s History Month also serves as the perfect time to reflect on the current state of women’s rights today. As the campus celebrates its 100-year anniversary, City College can boast of many great women who have graced its past. The history of women from years past is well-preserved in the Special Collections Room on the third floor of the Learning Resource Center.

Caroline Harker, the Special Collections librarian, is well-versed on the history of the college and especially on these women’s pasts.  

“I love Belle (Cooledge),” says Harker, who seems to light up as she speaks of the buoyant educator. “She was a woman before her time.”

Harker explained how Cooledge started teaching at City College when it first opened with only seven students in 1916. The first graduating class was entirely female. In 1918, six women graduated. Soon after, the college shut down because most of the males had been drafted to fight in World War I. Coolidge served by nursing returning veterans back to health.

Cooledge later returned to campus in 1920 as dean and vice president. She has been credited with founding the scholarships and financial aid programs that assist so many students today. She went on to become Sacramento’s first female mayor, serving in the 1940s, and later awarded Sacramento’s Woman of the Year in 1953.

Although women have made huge strides in history, many feel that women’s rights are still being threatened. Some of the biggest issues today are equal pay and reproductive rights. Among the many people still fighting for women’s rights is City College student and Feminist Club President Emily Howard, whose major is nursing.

“It’s the perfect intersection between social justice and biology,” says Howard of her area of study.

Howard thinks women’s rights have a long way to go.
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“There has been such an attack,” Howard says, “and there has been such an attack on reproductive rights lately. I feel like a year ago, we were in such a good spot with reproductive rights, but lately with the defunding of Planned Parenthood, I feel like that’s taking us a step backwards. We could go even more backwards depending on the current administration.”

Howard continued to explain other issues that she feels need to be addressed

“There are so many areas of women’s rights that haven’t even been challenged,” the club president says, “like there haven’t been major strides toward dealing with sexual assault and domestic violence in a long time.”

Equal pay for women is another concern of Howard’s.

Many people feel strongly about these current issues and are looking for ways to get involved. Following the Women’s March on Washington and in cities around the nation in January, the same group that sponsored the march has announced a general strike on International Women’s Day, March 8. Though not a march, A Day Without A Woman, also known as International Women’s Strike, calls for people to demonstrate how women are an important part the nation’s socio-economic fabric.

The group explains its goals for March 8 in the following words from its website: “In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, together we will mark the day by recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”

The group calls on people–including men — who want to get involved to do one or more of the following actions: Take the day off from labor, paid or unpaid; avoid shopping for the day unless it is at a woman-owned or minority-owned small business; and wear red to unite with the cause.


To find other events happening in your area and to fight for like causes, check out the Women’s March website at You can sign up to be notified of upcoming events, new actions taking place, as well as donate to this cause.

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